After speaking out, Herrera Beutler heads for clash with GOP

While it’s too early too tell how her the majority of her constituents may respond come next year’s midterm elections, donors and political experts said on Saturday that Herrera Beutler’s independent streak may actually serve to strengthen her hold on southwest Washington.

“I could see a primary in 2022 where Republicans put forward a very clear Trump candidate. Her weakness will be on the right,” said Mark Stephan, an associate professor of political science at Washington State University. “But I think there will be Democrats who will vote for her because they felt she acted courageously in this case.”…

Herrera Beutler has proved a political heavyweight in the district. First elected in 2010, she has regularly won elections by double digits. Her closest race was 2018 against Democratic challenger Carolyn Long, whom she beat by five points. But Herrera Beutler won the 2020 rematch by 13 points.

Washington state has an open, top-two primary system, meaning two candidates of the same party could theoretically advance to the general election.